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Watertown native one of eight students nominated by Stefanik

3 min read

WATERTOWN — Evan C. Richardson, 18, was among eight students from New York’s 21st Congressional District nominated to U.S. military service academies by Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville.

A Watertown native, Evan was the only student nominated from the tri-county area.

“It is one of my highest honors as a member of Congress to nominate deserving students from New York’s 21st Congressional District to our nation’s military service academies,” Rep. Stefanik said in a news release. “Serving in our nation’s military is an honorable calling, and their willingness to serve our nation and defend our freedoms is inspiring. After learning about each of their accomplishments and speaking with each student, I am confident this group of young leaders will represent New York’s 21st District well for years to come. I congratulate them on this significant accomplishment and wish them well as they matriculate this summer.”

Evan, a member of the Watertown High School Class of 2021, is now attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as part of the Class of 2026. He arrived on campus in late June for the academy’s reception day, a celebration of becoming West Point cadets and future Army officers.

His father, Rande Richardson, said he was initially recruited to play lacrosse. The new cadet is set to play on the West Point team as a goalie. During various visits, and shortly after the family’s first visit there, his father said Evan fell in love with West Point and all it stands for, and that their coaching staff is phenomenal.

“He actually was at the preparatory school, the military academy preparatory school last year, and that really affirmed his desire to continue to serve in the armed forces,” Mr. Richardson said. “We had no previous military background in our family, so this was new for us. But as we’ve gone through this journey with him, we too have really fallen in love with the idea that he has an opportunity to not only serve his country, but to get a first-class leadership education.”

Evan, and the more than 1,000 new cadets, will now complete six weeks of cadet basic training. They will participate in rigorous physical training, small-unit tactical training and rifle marksmanship. Upon completion of basic training, the cadets will be formally accepted into the Corps of Cadets and will be formally celebrated in mid-August.

“He realizes that this commitment is a more challenging path, but I believe he is accepting and willing to take it on,” Mr. Richardson said.

Mr. Richardson said once the cadets graduate, they have a five-year commitment they have to fulfill. And at that point, they can, based on circumstances, make determinations on what role Evan will play after West Point.

“We’re obviously humbly proud of him for choosing this path and even beyond that, representing his hometown, school and our country,” Mr. Richardson said. “He was born and raised in this community and I’d like to think that’s something that we can all share in. He had many positive influences along the way and his accomplishments will be theirs as well.”

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